Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Simple and Delicious Family Cooking: Caramelized Tomato Cobbler

OMG tomato cobbler OMG best thing ever.

Sorry. I couldn't control myself for a minute there. I discovered this recipe in a recent issue of Fitness, and it has quickly become my family's favorite dinner. (Truth be told, Genevieve eats the biscuit part and picks out the tomatoes. But she loves the biscuit part!) I am fortunate in that we are swimming in fresh locally-grown tomatoes from our CSA farm right now--pounds and pounds of giant Heirlooms and Red Slicers, and quarts of self-picked sweet-as-candy Sungold cherry tomatoes--and this is the perfect way to use them. But even if you don't belong to a CSA, I'll bet there are farmstands or farmers' markets where you live, overflowing with August tomatoes. And I highly, HIGHLY recommend you use them to make this.

I've tweaked the original recipe a bit, to simplify and adjust to my family's taste. Here's what I came up with. It's to die for.

Caramelized Tomato Cobbler
Serves 8

Cobbler Biscuit Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 T. sugar
1-1/2 T. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
5 T. cold butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Tomato Filling Ingredients:
2 T. sugar
2 T. water
1/2 tsp. rice vinegar (or any other mild or sweet vinegar you have around: sherry, balsamic, white wine, etc.)
2 lbs. Heirloom or Red Slicer tomatoes, cored and cut into large chunks, or a similar amount of cherry tomatoes (left whole is fine), OR a combination of the types
1 T. chopped fresh thyme or basil (or 1 tsp. dried thyme or basil)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To prepare the biscuit dough, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, pepper, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the small pieces of cold butter, and either cut in with a pastry blender or, with your fingers, rub and mix the butter into the flour mixture until the entire mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I do the latter.) Pour in the milk slowly, and stir until the dough just comes together. Add 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and stir to combine.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and form it into an 8-inch circle about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges. Set aside.

To prepare the tomatoes, combine the sugar and water in a large ovenproof skillet and cook over medium heat, swirling the pan gently but not stirring, until the sugar melts and the liquid turns amber (about 5 minutes). Add the vinegar and swirl again. Add the tomatoes, thyme or basil, salt, and pepper to the pan. Stir gently and then cook about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Doesn't this picture make it look kind of like cherry tomatoes with watermelon? It's not.

Place the 8 wedges of biscuit dough on the top of the tomatoes in the skillet.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.

Place entire skillet in oven and bake about 30 minutes, until biscuits are golden and tomatoes are bubbly.

Serve and enjoy all the compliments.

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